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Food Waste Reduction

Image of apples hanging from a tree
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Food Waste Reduction

At its core, pollution prevention is source reduction, which is any practice that reduces, eliminates, or prevents pollution at its source prior to recycling, treatment or disposal. Food waste generates about 270 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions each year, roughly equivalent to the annual emissions from 58 million passenger vehicles.

In the MI Healthy Climate Plan, cutting food waste in half by 2030, is one of the key recommendations for Michigan to achieving carbon neutrality. Food waste is defined as any food that is grown and produced for human consumption but ultimately is not eaten. Consumer-facing businesses and homes represent over 80% of all food waste generated.

Reducing Food Waste in Michigan: Phase I - Roadmap

The Michigan Food Waste Roadmap is a plan to reduce food loss and waste in Michigan, that will identify strategies to guide policy makers on potential incentives, funding mechanisms, technical assistance, outreach, policy changes, and other programs that could be developed to reduce food waste among Michigan businesses and institutions.

The produce section at a grocery store; carrots, beets, green onions, and other vegetables stacked neatly beneath price signs

Grocery Stores

Market discounted imperfect produce, continue to adopt improved inventory management systems and spoilage prevention packaging, and collaborate to standardize date labeling to benefit consumers.
Two people in protective smocks and nitrile gloves sort through bright yellow dried mango on a food assembly line

Food Manufacturers

Reduce inefficiencies in the manufacturing processes while collaborating with retailers on packaging adjustments and standardized date labeling.
A farmhouse, red barn, and silos surrounded by farm fields


Reduce unharvested food lost each year by developing secondary markets for imperfect produce and further leveraging Value-Added Processing.


Adopt Waste Tracking & Analytics across all facilities and incorporate Imperfect Produce into menus to reduce costs. Shift consumer behavior with smaller plates and tray-less dining in all-you-can-eat facilities.